Folkestone Street Infant & Childcare - 10/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Folkestone Street Infant & Childcare

How well placed is Folkestone Street Infant & Childcare to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Folkestone Street Infant and Childcare, in Mairangi Bay on Auckland's North Shore, specialises in education and care for children under three years of age. It holds a licence to cater for up to 30 children, including a maximum of 25 under two years. The youngest children are cared for in a separate area and also spend time with older children.

The centre is privately owned and is staffed by a large team. This includes eight teachers, most of whom are qualified educators. Three regular relievers who are currently studying for their degree in Early Childhood Education and the centre's cook are also part of the team. The owner is closely involved in centre operations and collaborative approaches, where staff share knowledge and ideas, are a feature of centre management and daily operations.

Teachers follow a philosophy that is based on nurturing children in a homelike environment that sets the foundations for lifelong learning.

The centre opened in 2008 and has had one previous ERO report. The previous report in February 2013 noted the centre's positive and caring environment and teachers' responsiveness to children's individual needs. Other strengths included the constructive partnerships between teachers and parents that focused on supporting children's development. These good features have been sustained, and the centre has responded well to ERO's recommendations for further improving learning opportunities for children and enhancing strategic and annual planning.

The Review Findings

The centre provides a high quality service for children and their families. Teachers demonstrate an excellent understanding of infant and toddler development. They recognise and use learning opportunities that arise within daily routines and children's play activities. Children enjoy many opportunities to explore and make choices in an affirming, well resourced environment.

Children are relaxed and settled. They benefit from responsive and flexible teaching practices that are well matched to their individual preferences and stages of development. They respond well to teachers' calm and nurturing approaches, and show strong attachment relationships with their caregivers.

High quality teaching practices align closely to the centre's philosophy and to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children's learning and wellbeing are central to the curriculum. Bicultural perspectives and teacher use of te reo Māori is an element of the centre's curriculum that needs further consideration.

The physical environment is well organised and used. It provides intellectual stimulation and very good support for the development of children's social skills and independence. Teachers recognise the importance of active play as a vehicle for children's learning. The outdoor play area is a particular feature of the centre, with its emphasis on natural resources to complement and add to the calming and low-stress atmosphere created for children.

Teachers are skilled in responding to children's verbal and non-verbal cues, promoting their language development well. They encourage infants and toddlers to take an active role in leading their learning from an early stage. Children's transitions into and through the centre are very well managed, adding to their sense of security, belonging and wellbeing.

Partnerships with parents are a further strength of the centre. Parents affirm the care provided for their children and the positive role teachers play in developing their children as learners. They are well informed about centre activities. Teachers are using digital technologies increasingly well to promote useful conversations with parents that support and enrich children's progress and development.

The centre is very well managed, and is underpinned by a strong commitment to providing high quality learning experiences for infants, toddlers and young children. Operational systems and policy foundations are well established and facilitate the smooth daily functioning of the centre. The centre owner/manager invests well in the teaching team, providing a range of professional learning and development opportunities to promote ongoing improvement in teaching and learning.

Internal evaluation is improvement focused and an integral part of centre management. Review processes include good analysis of relevant information, consideration of current research and literature on early childhood education, and opportunities for staff and parents/whānau to contribute. Review findings are used well for centre development and help ensure the service is well placed to sustain and further improve its performance.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre management have identified useful next steps for the centre. These include continuing to develop bicultural perspectives within the curriculum, and teacher knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori. It may be helpful to explore the cultural competencies outlined in the Ministry of Education's Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Maori Learners, to support work in these areas.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Folkestone Street Infant & Childcare completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Folkestone Street Infant & Childcare will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 June 2016

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Mairangi Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20226

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

45

Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

other

2

31

5

7

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

10 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.